Two old favourites on one Cd
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 02/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"ROBERTA - While not Jerome Kern's finest score (SHOW BOAT wins that title hands down), ROBERTA does contain many of his trademark lovely melodies and at least two standards: SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES and YESTERDAYS. There are many more gems too including "Lovely To Look At" (written for the 1935 film version); "You're Devastating" and "The Touch of Your Hand."
The show has a weak book whiich has made it unrevivable but the songs have survived.Decca's album dating from 1944 was the first complete recording of the score and sounds very much like a cast album from a 1940s revival. Alfred Drake and Kitty Carlisle are the leads with Paula Laurence there to handle the comedy numbers. Sound is quite good for such an old recording, and the CD booklet features a reproduction of the cover from the old 78 set.THE VAGABOND KING - Rudolf Friml's 1925 operetta is not his finest (ROSE MARIE is) but it too conatins a good share of strong melodies: "Only a Rose"; "Love Me Tonight" and especially "Song of the Vagabonds." Decca's 1951 recording covers these (and three others, plus and Overture and Finale) in a robust recording lead by Alfred Drake. Sound is high Fidelity mono (since by the time this album was made Tape had replaced acetate discs)and the reissue is welcome since there is no other version of VAGBOND KING available on Cd!"
A classic score back on CD!
Alfonzo Tyson | Buffalo, NY United States | 01/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Musical theatre fans should be greatful to Decca Broadway for bringing the classic Jerome Kern/Otto Harbach score back on CD, now that the Columbia studio recording is out of print. Alfred Drake (fresh from his success from the landmark "Oklahoma!"), Paula Laurence, and Kitty Carlisle are in excellent voice and the score contains two classics "Smoke Get In Your Eyes" and "Lovely to Look At", originally for the 1935 film version. You'll also appreciate the witty lyrics of "Don't Ask Me Not to Sing", "Let's Begin", "Yesterdays", and "Alphi Beta Phi", which is not listed on the track list, but is at the end of the overture. Oh, did I mention the eight tracks of "The Vagabond King" with Drake and Metropolitan Opera great Mimi Benzell? A must-have for Broadway and operetta fans!"